I often hear parents of young children say that their kids are too young for Epcot. For some reason, Epcot has a reputation for being an “adult” park. While adults do tend to really love it, there are a ton of things to do for young kids as well. A lot of parents may not realize all that they are missing out on when they remove Epcot from the parks they would consider to visit with little kids. My own daughter has always loved Epcot, no matter what age she was. In this post, I would like to highlight all the things that you can do at Epcot with kids.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
What young child doesn’t like Nemo? Did you know that they have a whole building themed to Nemo in Epcot? They have a small moving ride that takes you through the Finding Nemo movie. It follows the story of the movie and then at the end you get to see the actual characters projected in to a real aquarium with other fish. It’s kinda cool! The ride is very tame and slow moving, so perfect for kids of any age.
The Seabase Aquarium
Once you disembark from the Nemo ride, you will exit in to the Seabase aquarium building. You can take this opportunity to walk around and check out all the cool sea life that lives at Epcot. The large aquarium area has some stunning creatures and you could easily spend a lot of time there just watching them. You’ll get the opportunity to see dolphins, stingray, manatees, sea turtles, sharks, seahorses and so much more!
If you’d like to educate yourself a bit about what you are seeing in the aquarium, cast members are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. I have always found them to be very knowledgeable and it’s cool to hear all the fun facts they can provide you and your kids with.
Turtle Talk is a show in which kids get to talk with Crush the sea turtle from the Finding Nemo movie. This is usually one of the attractions that kids enjoy the most at Epcot. I have to admit – as a parent, it is pretty entertaining too 🙂
The show takes place in a small theatre room and all the kids sit at the front, on the floor, right in front of the screen. Crush shows up on the screen and takes live questions from the children. It’s pretty cool how he interacts with the kids and his routine is always comedic for parents. We always leave that show with a few laughs under our belt and a big smile on our faces.
ALL the characters
A lot of parents may not realize this, but there are A TON of characters at Epcot. Here is a list of the current characters you can catch at Epcot park:
- Anna & Elsa
- Snow White
- Mary Poppins
- Alice in Wonderland
Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Journey Into Imagination with Figment is often overlooked by a lot of guests, so it is seldom that you will ever have to wait in a long line for this ride. Don’t let that fool you though, because kids get a real kick out of this ride. It explores the science behind all our senses and has some fun surprises. The tune that they play during the ride is really catchy too and a bit of warning – you may not be able to get it out of your head afterwards.
Once you disembark the ride, you exit in to a “lab” where kids can explore and play interactively with some things they have set up. This is a great time for parents to take a moment to relax in a cool environment while the kids keep themselves busy.
**Tip – if you have Memory Maker, make sure to take some photos in the photo booth in this area. The photos you take will appear in your Photopass account and you will have access to download them with Memory Maker.
The Thrill Rides
Do you have a child that has the need for speed or anything thrilling? If so, then there are some rides that you will certainly not want to miss at Epcot! (It’s important to note that all the rides mentioned below have a minimum height requirement of 40 inches)
Test Track is for those that like high speed. You start by getting to design your car while you are waiting in line. You then embark on the ride and test out the car you designed to see how it matches up with others in the same vehicle as you. The ride is both inside and outside. The inside portion takes you through a series of tests with the car to see how it reacts to speed, stopping and poor weather conditions. This part of the ride is mostly dark. Then you exit outside, where the car speeds up and you feel like you are in a race car. Don’t wear your hat on this ride, because it will fly off for sure!
Soarin’ is a ride for anyone that likes adventure and is not too affected by heights. I don’t like heights, but I can still manage to ride Soarin’ without any issues. The ride elevates you in front of an IMAX screen where you get to experience flying over several portions of the world. The experience is like no other I have seen and it blows me away every time! It is always on the top of my to-do list when at Epcot.
Mission: SPACE is for anyone that has ever wondered what it would be like to fly in to space, it simulates the experience for you. They have two versions – Green and Orange. If you are prone to motion sickness, then it is suggested that you select Green since it is the milder version. On the Green mission, you will orbit the Earth. On the Orange Mission, you will get to feel the full experience of a rocket launch. The Orange Mission does simulate speed and tilts, which is why it is not recommended for anyone prone to motion sickness. Also, if you are claustrophobic, then this may also not be a good ride for you.
Agent P’s World Showcase Adventures
The World Showcase area of Epcot has several opportunities in which you can embark on a “scavenger hunt”-like adventure. You sign up at a designated cart and they will provide you with a smartphone to start your adventure. You will be working with Perry the Platypus from Phineas & Ferb to stop the Evil Doofenschmirtz. The smartphone instructs you where to go and helps you look for clues to solve the adventure. This is available in several of the countries in World Showcase and each one is a different experience. Kids absolutely love this and I have to say – it’s fun for adults too! These are the countries where the adventures are available:
- United Kingdom
These adventures take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to complete. Just look for the cart below to sign up for one:
Frozen Ever After
If you have a fan of the Frozen movie, then you do not want to miss this ride! It is located in the Norway Pavilion in the World Showcase. It is a boat ride that takes you through the story of Frozen. The animatronics are so good, the characters almost look life like. You also get to enjoy all your favorite music from the movie. It really is a whimsical experience and just a ton of fun!
**Tip – I highly recommend that you do try to get a fastpass for this ride if you want to ride it. It is very popular and often experiences long lines, so having a fastpass is a lifesaver for this ride.
Feel like the kids need a break while walking around the World Showcase? They have Kidcot stations located in every country. These are areas where the kids can sit down and color with cast members. It is also a great place for your child to pin trade with a cast member if they are in to that.
Also, if you pick up an Epcot Passport at any of the gift shops, your child can use it all throughout the World Showcase. Present your passport at every Kidcot station and the cast member will stamp it and write a greeting for you in their native language. Kids really get in to this activity, and it gives them a cute little keepsake to take home with them.
Epcot is home to 2 Character Meals – Garden Grill and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
Garden Grill is located in The Land building in Future World. The characters that appear are Chip n’ Dale, Farmer Mickey and Pluto. The restaurant is super interesting because you may not realize it, but it is turning while you are eating. It is a family-style buffet, which means it is a set price and they bring all the food to your table. Everyone selects from what they place on the table and it can be replenished anytime. I can’t say enough about the food here. They have a breakfast and lunch/dinner option. I have eaten there for lunch and I would easily return. Everything was so delicious and the food is so fresh, picked right from their own growing gardens at Epcot!
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is for anyone that feels they need a little “princess” in their life. The princesses that appear at this meal are Belle, Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora. While the reviews often seem to be mixed in regards to the food, we enjoyed it very much when we went there for dinner. We had a braised beef dish and it was one of the top meals I have ever had at Disney World, so good! The princesses also perform a parade in the restaurant where they invite the kids to join them in their “Princess Procession”. It is so adorable to see all the kids feeling like royalty as they parade around for their parents.
Biergarten is a buffet restaurant located in the Germany Pavilion. While it is very popular with adults, the reason I suggest it for young children is because of the live entertainment. You get to experience an Oktoberfest celebration first hand, and kids & family are all invited on the dance floor. Young children often have a hard time staying seated during an entire meal, but at the Biergarten, they don’t have to! They can dance along to the oompah music, while Mom and Dad enjoy some traditional Bavarian food and drink.
On a hot day, this is the place to be! Located in the Future World section of Epcot, Club Cool is your opportunity to try a variety of refreshments from around the world – and they are FREE! Club Cool has several stations set up with sodas from various countries and you are free to taste as much as you want. Just grab a sample cup and taste away! Don’t forget to try the Beverley, it is the most infamous selection of them all 😉
Hopefully this post has provided you with some information about Epcot that you may not of realized. There are a lot of hidden gems in this park and it should be a serious contender for families of all ages. Now that you know all that it has to offer, would you consider adding it as a park day with your young children?
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Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!